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Health and Safety

Ohio University is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all members of our campus community. In light of various diseases and viruses that can affect our campus, we have established policies and guidelines to ensure the well-being of our students and staff. These policies cover responses to diseases such as the flu, bacterial meningitis, and the Coronavirus (COVID-19), as well as general safety and security measures.

In addition to these health-related policies, we also emphasize general safety and security on campus. From safeguarding your residence to reporting pest issues and maintaining proper identification, these guidelines aim to create a secure living and learning environment for all.

We urge all members of the Ohio University community to familiarize themselves with these policies and follow them diligently to ensure the safety and well-being of themselves and their fellow students and staff. Together, we can maintain a healthy and secure campus environment.

 

Diseases and Viruses

Flu Response

The influenza virus spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing by people with the virus. Sometimes people may become infected by touching something – such as a surface or object – with flu viruses on it and then touching their mouth or nose.

If you think you have the flu, visit Campus Care in Hudson Hall for assessment and treatment. You should stay in your room, away from class, and away from your friends, until your temperature is normal for 24 hours without the use of medication.

Severe cases requiring immediate medical attention would show the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or heavy pressure in your chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness or near fainting
  • Passing out or loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Symptoms improve but then return with fever, increased sinus pressure, or worsening cough or shortness of breath

Meningitis

Bacterial meningitis is an acute bacterial disease. Signs and symptoms of Bacterial Meningitis are sudden onset of fever, intense headache, nausea, and sometimes vomiting, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and may also involve a rash that begins as clusters of small pricks and develops into purple bruising.

 

While the susceptibility to the disease is low, bacterial meningitis can progress rapidly and have very serious and sometimes tragic health consequences. If you have any of these symptoms, please go to Campus Care immediately or call 911 for an ambulance to transport you to the emergency room.

For information regarding vaccinations, contact Campus Care at Hudson Health Center at 740.593.1660.

Corona Virus (COVID-19)

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread from person to person, mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Spread is more likely when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet.)

Ohio University requires that students who reside in on-campus housing disclose whether they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to residing on-campus. Students are not required to have been vaccinated, nor receive the booster at this time for COVID-19. Students are required to indicate if they have been vaccinated, and if they have, when and what types of vaccines were received.

Individuals with COVID-19 frequently do not exhibit any symptoms but students must monitor themselves for the following:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Symptoms may appear from 2-14 after exposure to the virus. More information can be found on the CDC website.

Housing does not provide designated isolation or quarantine spaces on campus. We strongly encourage students to return home to their permanent address to isolate. Although, students should return home to isolate, we recognize that this may not be possible. Therefore, students who test positive may remain on campus in their residence hall room.

Pest Control 

To prevent widespread pest issues, do not attempt to eradicate the issues on your own. Report pest problems to

Environmental Health and Safety through the EHS Pest Report Form or call 740.593.1666. Additionally, notify your building RD/GRD/ARD of the pest issue. To prevent pest issues including ants, wasps, bedbugs, etc., keep food stored in airtight containers and remove trash regularly.

Safety and Security

Ohio University Police Department

The Ohio University Police Department is a police agency tasked with serving the Ohio University community. They are the main contact for emergencies occurring on campus. Program your cell phone speed dial to access the Ohio University Police Department at 740.593.1911. If your cell phone does not identify an “ICE” (In Case of Emergency) phone number, please take the time to program that number into your cell phone.

Safety and Security Guidelines

The following will ensure the safety and security of yourself and your residence hall community:

  • Always carry your keys and keep your room locked. Many thefts on campus are crimes of opportunity where items are left unattended and unsecured.
  • Never let someone into a residence hall if they do not have a key or do not live there.
  • Propping open exterior doors is equally dangerous, and many doors are equipped with alarms to prevent them from being propped. It is okay to deny someone entry into your hall if a fellow resident does not escort them.
  • Do not lend your room key to anyone.
  • Do not tamper with the lock mechanism on your door (e.g., tape over the lock, magnets in the door frame).
  • Report lost or stolen key/ student ID immediately to in-hall staff, Living Learning Center, and/or OUPD.
  • If the lock on your door is broken, call Facilities Management at 740.593.2911.
  • All students who own a bike are encouraged to register the bike with OUPD. This is helpful, particularly for instances of theft.
  • Lock your door while you are in your room, particularly when you’re not able to observe someone entering through an unlocked door such as when you take a nap or are sleeping at night.
  • In suites, work with your suitemate to ensure that they, too, follow a reasonable security routine.
  • To thwart identity thieves who may pick through your trash or piles of unread mail stacked in a corner, always shred, or tear up items with personal information.
  • Record the serial numbers on your valuable items and have valuables engraved with identifying information (e.g., computers, bicycles). Should items be stolen, this aids in their return.
  • All OHIO students and employees are required to carry their identification. It is your right to identify who may be requesting access to your room, and for what reason. If they refuse to show their ID card, note their physical characteristics and clothing, and immediately call OUPD or 911.
  • Help your friends! Be a good neighbor and immediately call OUPD if you observe suspicious persons or activity.